Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly is starting to get some much-needed recognition. The Carolina Panthers' rookie won the NFC defensive player of the week award for his 16-tackle game against the Atlanta Falcons.
The ninth overall pick is starting to gain some traction, and awards like this could give Kuechly an inside track to the defensive rookie of the year award. His 130 total tackles currently leads the NFL, and there's no sign of him slowing down. Since taking over at middle linebacker following Jon Beason's season-ending injury, he's been everything the Panthers could have hoped, and then some.
What sets Luke Kuechly apart is his ability to diagnose plays pre-snap, paired with an almost unnatural ability to read and react to plays. Always in to make a play, he's averaging 11.66 tackles per game at his natural position, and on a defensive unit in need of leaders the rookie has been the one organizing his teammates and acting like a field-general.
For everything he does on the field, off it he's helping as well -- helping charity to put together backpacks for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Charlotte.
Congratulations to Luke Kuechly! Hopefully this is the first in a long line of accolades.